Civilization: Beyond Earth - My Game of the Year
The past year was full of disappointing games. Almost every game I played in 2014 was a let down. But there was one game that was less of a disappointment than any other game I played all year. Civilization: Beyond Earth. It had an excellent user interface, solid gameplay, and challenging AI.
The user interface was very well-designed. In spite of the complexities of the game, the UI made it easy to find what you were looking for. It kept the screen from being too cluttered, unless you wanted it to be. There were some small elements that you were able to add or subtract from the UI in order to show more or less information, based on how you prefer to play the game. In a game as involved as a Civilization title, Firaxis did well with keeping it from being too complex.
It starts off seemingly like any other Civilization game, most comparably Civ 5. You choose your civilization, your spacecraft, your supplies, and your focus for starting citizens. Each choice creates a different start, so there are a variety of ways to start the game.
Then you launch to a world of your choosing, or a random world. Some have more alien life and some have less. This also adds to depth of play. Aliens are similar to barbarians, only they seem to spawn more frequently. Then you get to the newest systems, which make it stand apart from other Civilization games: non-linear tech web, affinities, and the orbital layer. These three game mechanics make it worth playing.
Difficult enemies are the norm in 4X strategy games. Civilization: Beyond Earth had a vast array of enemies that you could encounter. Each type of enemy had different tactics. Some might try to thwart you; others might try to team up with you.
On top of the regular war-hungry or peaceful enemies, you have the alien life. Depending on what you do towards the alien life, you may incur their wrath as well, which can be a near-insurmountable force, even in later levels. Or it can be easy to get around them and take out who you want.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with me, Civilization: Beyond Earth is my game of the year for 2014 for the reasons above and more. What was your GOTY for 2014?
Nathan DComJanuary 27, 2015, 6:14 pmContributorMay I ask, do you enjoy Civ V more then Civ:BE
Zach LongJanuary 27, 2015, 6:38 pmFeatured ContributorI've put more hours into civ 5 and the expansions really add a lot to it. Core game to core game I think that there's a bit more variety in Civ V and therefore a bit more enjoyable but both great games.
The Slow GamerJanuary 27, 2015, 3:03 amContributorI've really enjoyed the small amount of time I've spent playing C:BE, and I'm looking forward to playing it some more. But I've seen a lot of criticism about the game, especially how similar it is to Civ V (which I haven't played). Are the two so similar?
Zach LongJanuary 27, 2015, 4:05 pmFeatured Contributorthey are pretty similar. In my opinion there's enough of a difference to make it unique but it's essentially the same formula. There's a bit more depth in civ 5 due to having two expansions and if I recall they used the same base code for civ: be as they did for civ 5.